The UVic Writer's Guide
Quoting From Secondary Sources
In a literary essay, if you are quoting from a secondary source--a critic, a biographer, a historian--it is often good tactics
to choose a passage you disagree with, wholly, or in part, then
to discuss the way in which you feel the critic's view needs to
be modified or extended.
In this way you will establish your own view more cogently than
if you are passively allowing a critic to speak for you. If you
have found a writer who expresses precisely what you want to say,
it is usually better to summarize the point in your own words
and to acknowledge your source. It is not usually effective to
finish an essay by quoting someone else's ideas and words.
Topics About Citations
Table of Contents
Copyright, The Department of English, The University of Victoria,
This page updated April 20, 1995